Matthew 1-12 begins with Jesus' birth and continues to his teachings and gatherings of his disciples. Parables are beginning to be utilized and the miraculous deeds of Jesus are exemplified.
While reading this passage, a lot of questions came up and a lot of jumbled thoughts came to me. One thought/question was how come Joseph and the fishermen make following Christ look so easy?? In Matthew 1:24 it simply says that Joseph awoke and obeyed the angel that appeared to him. and in Matthew 4: 18-22 the fisher of men simply leave their lifestyles and follow Jesus. Today this is something that many people struggle with. Following God's will is hard to understand and obey. Joseph and the fisher of men had no problem, however. Why is this?? and why in Matthew 7:13-14 does it talk about the "right path" not being easy?? Is this contradictory or is it trying to explain to us that it isn't as easy as Joseph and the fisher of men made it appear??
Another thought regards John the Baptist. I felt like we jumped a whole large section of Jesus life and wasn't sure why we went to John the Baptist until Jesus was actually baptized. How old was Jesus at this time though?? and How does baptism fit in with Judaism?? in Matthew 5: 17 Jesus states that He is there to fulfill the prophets instead of abolish them-which is a good thing to point out to Jews.
In Matthew 4:7 it talks about not testing our Lord. I have always been taught that it is ok to question the Lord though. What exactly is the difference between testing and questioning?? I think that it is mainly the motive behind the act. Testing is more of a malicious act-like the devil testing the Lord in the wilderness. Questioning is more for an understanding purpose.
Matthew 5:42 is one of my favorite verses because it is what I try to do with my life. Matthew 6:34 is also one of my favorites because it is something I struggle with-worrying about tomorrow. Matthew 7:23 is a pretty cool verse also because of the idea the all the Lord really wants is to know us. It really hit me all over again when I read this tonight.
The last couple things I thought about after/while reading this was what was the motive for killing Jesus (Matt 12:14) and how has prayer changed today?? In Matthew 6: 9-13 the Lord's Prayer is recited and it is stated that that is the example prayer we should follow. Why is it then that we spend hours communicating our prayer requests with others?? Is it simply for a sense of community?? But then are we truly following the ideas of doing things in secrecy to not take glory for it?? When I pray I usually write my thoughts out-this helps God know me better, and this is done in secrecy. Where is the link I am missing?? Am I just thinking two hard about it??